ERIC Number: ED232300
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: N/A
Determining Causality by Inference: Use of Statistics in the Courtroom.
Carter, David G., Sr.; And Others
As a result of the growing use of social science research and statistics in the legal process, a number of interest groups have sought an understanding of how these factors affect the outcome of judicial decisions. In this chapter, the authors present a historical overview of the judicial use of social science research and statistical data. The first section, discussing the extent social science has influenced or had a role in judicial decision-making, reviews court cases outside the field of education where social science data have received consideration. The second section concerns the evaluation of the use of statistics in the courtroom; such use has generally been limited to either demographic or comparative analyses. Demographic statistical comparisons relying on the"disparate impact" theory have been used in discrimination litigation. Statistical comparisons have been used to argue against company hiring and promotion criteria. The final section concerns the place statistics will play in the future in shaping judicial decisions and discusses areas where care must be taken to ensure against faulty conclusions. Judges are cautioned that lawyers must determine what is relevant in litigation, but scientists should determine what of the relevant is reliably known. (MLF)
Descriptors: Court Litigation, Equal Opportunities (Jobs), Federal Courts, Racial Discrimination, Research Methodology, Social Science Research, State Courts, Statistical Bias
Not available separately; see EA 016 000.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Legal/Legislative/Regulatory Materials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Organization on Legal Problems of Education, Topeka, KS.
Note: In its: School Law Update--1982, p36-47, 1983.